Admit it, growing up you most likely always had a juice box packed for your school lunch. It doesn't seem like an important detail of your childhood, but whether you preferred apple juice or fruit punch, it looks like you've been at risk this entire time.
TL;DR Recent studies on 45 popular fruit juices have uncovered that disturbingly high concentrations of hazardous materials are present in leading brands often sold across Canada. The dangerous heavy metals and other substances can lead to health issues such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. More details below.
More importantly are the children still getting the various brands of juice every day. Recent studies in the U.S. conducted by the Consumer Reports Survey have uncovered that there are disturbingly high concentrations of hazardous materials in several leading brands of fruit juice.
The team conducting the study analyzed 45 juices and found heavy metals in brands such as:
- Minute Maid
- Great Value
- Whole Foods
- Ocean Spray
All of these brands can be found on store shelves across Canada. 21 of the juices tested showed alarming rates of both cadium and lead, as well as arsenic.
The study uncovered that for 16 of the juices analyzed it only took one cup a day for a child to be at risk. For seven of the juices, it only takes half a cup to become dangerous.
10 of the juices contain materials that could be potentially harmful to adults.
Another interesting fact discovered by the Consumer Reports Survey: grape juice contains more harmful metals on average than apple juice, according to le Journal de Montréal.
The materials detected within the popular childrens' beverages can cause significant health problems when consumed in large amounts. Studies have found correlations between the metals analyzed and behavioural problems, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
The good news is that the concentration of the harmful metals in these drinks seems to be decreasing over time. 71% of juices tested by the Consumer Reports Survey in 2011 contained a rate greater than one part per billion of at least one toxic material, compared to 47% in 2019.
It's suggested that Canadians limit the amount of juice offered to children to prevent potentially harmful health effects.